Friday, 26 February 2016

Trump Scares the Establishment

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It’s February 23 as I write, and the season when political parties choose their nominee for the office of president is in full swing. Republicans from Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have catapulted Donald Trump into a commanding lead. And the pundits in all phases of the media are worried.

Frank Rich is a former New York Times columnist whose opinions are now published in New York. He has just written about the worriers who are scratching their heads in discontent about the prospect of Trump winning the nomination and the White House. Rich pointedly cited the seeming desperation among “the Establishment” about the success achieved by the New York billionaire. He stated:

After Donald Trump’s victory in South Carolina, the GOP Establishment is left with what some political reporters have called “an urgent decision: Either destroy Mr. Trump or embrace him…. Far and away the Establishment’s bigger challenge is to destroy Trump."

The question Rich didn’t answer is: Who are the individuals who form this “Establishment”? He didn’t name any, so let us give an opinion about the people who seem anxious, according to Rich, to “destroy Mr. Trump.”

In December 1961, nationally syndicated columnist Edith Kermit Roosevelt, the granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, gave her readers as sound a definition of this powerful clique as could be found anywhere. Her description made sense 55 years ago, and it is still on target today. She wrote:

The word “establishment” is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions and government, largely from the northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House. Most people are unaware of this “legitimate Mafia.” Yet the power of the Establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a Cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation’s policies in almost every area....

What is the Establishment’s viewpoint? Through the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations its ideology is constant: That the best way to fight Communism is by a One World Socialist state governed by “experts” like themselves. The result has been policies which favor the growth of the superstate, gradual surrender of United States sovereignty to the United Nations.

Miss Roosevelt’s mention that members of the Establishment are “largely from the northeast” leads to the conclusion that she had in mind the members of the New York City-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). That’s where the bulk of the “power elite” can be found. If indeed members of the CFR and several lesser-known but likeminded Establishment groups “favor the growth of the superstate [and] gradual surrender of U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations,” and these individuals see a need to destroy Donald Trump’s so far very successful race to the nomination, then it would seem that Trump is not one of them. Which, in the view of this prognosticator, is a huge plus. It is also interesting that the people Rich has written about have no similar fears about Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich.

The New York pundit, himself easily linked to the Establishment, says the power elite would like to have all but one of Trump’s competitors bow out so that he would have to face in a one-on-one duel a candidate the Establishment would prefer. It may happen.

Please don’t anyone get the idea that what I have written is an endorsement of Donald Trump. When asked whom I might favor, I always answer, “The one who wants to have the U.S. withdraw from the United Nations.” That means I favor none of the GOP (or Democrat) candidates. But if Donald Trump wins the White House, he might realize the importance of separating from the UN. That would make him the hero of every red-blooded American.


John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society. This column appeared originally at the insideJBS blog and is reprinted here with permission.

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